Tonight was supposed to be for celebrating the last day of the semester for my ELCC students. We probably would’ve gone for supper. Ordered too much food. Laughed at Henry when he made his toy giraffe pretend to drink from a cup of ice water. Tipped the waitress well for having to pick his mess of rice up off the floor.
Instead, I sit here in my favourite pajamas patterned with little cups of coffee, each with a curly cue of steam rising from its contents, still awed by the clash of normalcy – answering emails, loading the dishwasher, making supper – against our current reality .
Eight days ago I’d never even heard of social distancing. Each day since has brought an eerie calm. I know the storm is coming. It gets closer and bigger and more turbulent with every news conference, every announcement, every social media post of questionable integrity. My insides reflect this, getting more turbulent with every unfortunate minute I spend listening to said news conferences and reading said announcements and furrowing my eyebrows together in consternation at said social media posts. My teeth reflect this too. I cannot count the number of times if the past week that I’ve caught myself, teeth clenched tight until pain radiates up into my jaw and down the taught muscles of my neck, as if I’m holding the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I unclench my teeth. I try to reset. I drink water. I do a distance group body talk session. I unclench my teeth. I push toys out of the way in our basement and make room for my yoga mat. I sit on the couch with a glass of wine. I unclench my teeth. I shove a chunk of banana bread into my mouth standing over the sink. I feel frustrated.
But we’re safe. We’re warm. We’re still working. We’re healthy. Our bellies are full. We’re thankful. I unclench my teeth. I take a deep breath, and remember my Grampa’s advice. It’s tattooed on my back, but I still forget:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (I need a lot of help with this one)
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.
We’re taking this one day at a time.